Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood © 2011 The Fred Rogers Company
If you've been craving a sequel to Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, you'll have to hold out for one more year. On July 31, PBS announced it will launch Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, an animated preschool series with cross-platform content—the television program plus online games and resources for kids, parents and teachers—in fall 2012.
The series' premise is that all of the original characters have grown up and now have preschoolers of their own. The 4-year-old son of Daniel Tiger headlines the show, and will kick off each episode by putting on a sweater and tying his shoes, just like Fred Rogers did in the earlier series.
"We're very excited to be creating a program that builds on Fred's legacy in such fresh and innovative ways. Fred knew that school readiness skills are the foundation for academic achievement, and a full life, and now a growing body of research confirms this," said Bill Isler, president of The Fred Rogers Company, in the press release announcing the new show.
It will be interesting to see whether the new show—targeted narrowly to preschoolers—can pack the same emotional wallop as the old-school neighborhood, which reached out to kids of all ages and adults. Over at Gothamist they have a couple of clips, including one of Daniel Tiger, Sr., desperately wanting to go to school like the big kids.